David Goldman offers an interesting take on the competition between the United States and China for global influence in his latest book, You Will Be Assimilated: China’s Plan to Sino-form the World. He focuses on technology and points towards how China is moving ahead of the United States in those technologies essential for the fourth industrial revolution – particularly 5G technology. China’s hero in this story is Huawei.
Goldman’s basic point is that the United States does not need to worry about China conquering the world through arms, but should instead worry about the Chinese conquering the world through integrating the world into a network of Chinese telecommunication infrastructure and then leaping ahead in the technologies that this infrastructure will facilitate. In this techno war, the United States risks being outflanked and confined to irrelevance in a Chinese-dominated world.